Crowley, Humboldt Bay Port Develop a California offshore wind terminal

Crowley signed an agreement with the Port of Humboldt Bay to exclusively negotiate to be the developer and operator of the terminal, which will serve as the first hub in California to serve offshore wind facilities.

Through Crowley’s Wind Services group, the company will enter into lease negotiations with the port and serve as the port developer for the Humboldt Bay Offshore Wind Heavy Lift Marine Terminal. The services provided will support the charterer in the manufacture, installation and operation of offshore wind floating platforms, the use of large heavy cargo ships and the provision of crewing and marshalling services in Pacific waters.

“Clean, renewable energy for Californians has taken a step forward thanks to our partnership with Humboldt Bay Port officials. Crowley looks forward to working with the Humboldt Bay Harbor Recreation and Conservation District to formalize the lease and development plan,” says Bob Karl, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Wind Services. “Through our cooperation, we can achieve our shared commitment to sustainable development that gives the state and the nation a new source of energy that respects the environment and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.”

This public-private partnership will support federal and state government goals to develop more US offshore wind farms and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. Department of the Interior announced Oct. 18 that waters off the coast of Humboldt Bay will be part of the first-ever sale of wind farms on the U.S. West Coast on Dec. 6.

The state of California has set a goal of creating at least 5 GW of offshore wind power by 2030. The Humboldt offshore wind fields alone are projected to provide 1.6 GW of energy, capable of powering up to 1.6 million homes. The federal lease auction will also include the Morro Bay area, which offers 3 GW of projected energy.

Using a grant from the Humboldt County Headwaters Fund in 2021, the Port of Humboldt Bay developed a conceptual master plan for the site. This led to a $10.45 million grant from the California Energy Commission to conduct engineering studies, preliminary design and preliminary permits. The port anticipates completing permitting and engineering in mid-2024. The new agreement with Crowley focuses on the 98-acre Phase I, with the option to expand to adjacent land in subsequent phases.

“This is a historic and transformative moment in the history of Humboldt County and the state of California,” commented Greg Dale, president of the Port of Humboldt Bay Board of Directors. “Led by Crowley’s support and expertise, the Port of Humboldt Bay is now an international leader in the transition to renewable energy. The port will play a key role not only in the Humboldt and Morro Bay Call Areas, but in all future wind regions on the US West Coast.

“Over the next several years, this project will generate high-skilled manufacturing and engineering jobs, investment and clean energy that will extend generations into the future,” continues Dale. “And this project is just the beginning for Humboldt Bay, with the potential for additional complementary projects in other underutilized locations throughout the bay.”

Humboldt Bay will mark Crowley’s second dedicated wind service terminal project in the US. Design and engineering for the Crowley Terminal is underway in Salem, Mass., as part of a public-private partnership that will support offshore wind projects in New England.

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